Woman checking Facebook walks off pier

Last updated 11:51 18/12/2013

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A young female tourist was so engrossed in Facebook on her mobile phone that she walked off a Melbourne pier and almost drowned, police say.

She fell off the St Kilda pier about 11.30pm on Monday, said police, but fortunately a witness called police.

Senior Constable Dean Kelly of the water police squad said he and fellow officers made the quick four-minute trip from Williamstown to St Kilda when alerted to the near-drowning.

Their high-speed boat arrived to find the woman floating about 30 metres from the pier.

''She wasn't splashing around too much. She wasn't in a panic even though she was in the water for probably 20 minutes,'' he said.

The woman had a backpack on, which may have helped her to stay buoyant, he said.

''She wasn't a good swimmer but she was floating OK ... on her back,'' he said.

After police pulled her onto their craft, the woman explained what had happened.

''She had a mobile phone in one of her hands and when we brought her onboard one of the first things she did was apologise and say sorry,'' Senior Constable Kelly said.

''She explained that she was on her phone checking her Facebook page when she fell into the water.''

The young woman was Taiwanese, in her mid-twenties, he said.

''She was fine. She was hypothermic. She just needed a blanket to warm up,'' he said.

The woman was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for observation.

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- The Age

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